24th March, 2018 was my literature day-out in the capital city as various literary events were being held simultaneously and I chose to cover the most of them in a day. I’ll take you through my exciting day and brief you about the events.
The first event I attended was WORDS IN THE GARDEN at Indian International Centre. The event was organised by Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti in order to promote creativity, imagination and ideas that Delhi generates, sustains and embodies. This was the second edition of the festival and the theme this year was ‘Ghalib ki Dilli’. The event was to pay tribute to Ghalib on his 220th birth anniversary. Though it was a two-day festival, but due to shortage of time and my approaching deadlines, I could only attend one event of the festival and that was the screening of Sohrab Modi’s 1954 directorial movie, ‘Mirza Ghalib’. Being a Ghalib fan, I had watched the movie before but still couldn’t miss this opportunity and what better than enjoying your work. Thus I reviewed the event while cherishing it. The screening was held from 11:30a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Being an IIC event, it was obviously well-organised and well-conducted. Initially I was engrossed with the movie but once the movie was over, I switched on my observation mode and was extremely disheartened to realize that the audience present in the event was above 40. Why an event about one of the greatest litterateur attended only by a limited crowd? It hurts to see that the youth is losing interest in our culture. Other than this it was a delight to interact with our elders who became a part of the event with full enthusiasm and passion.
Next I went to the NEW DELHI ART BOOK FAIR (NDABF) organized at Indira Gandhi National Centre of Art. It was again a two - day event held on 24th and 25th Feb and this was its first issue. The moment I entered the venue I was taken aback as the event was held at a very small area and again being an event about art, the crowd was very less. Among the ones who had put up their stalls, I could see a lot of disappointed faces. While having a chat with Mr. C. Arumugam, Director, Tara Books, he said, “We have come all over from Chennai for this amazing event but are disappointed with the small area and less footfall. But still we had to come to render our support to NDABF as its’ their first time.” Even the popular NGO, Goonj was present to support the event and generate some revenue for their organization. I personally felt that the ideology behind the event, the guests and speakers invited were well thought and great but the event lacked audience engagement and I guess the reason behind it was less active advertising
The last event of the day was DELHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL (DLF). I was very excited about this and it was being held at Dilli Haat, INA. The festival was 3-day long from 23rd to 25th Feb. The moment I stepped out of the metro station, I looked for a DLF sign board but couldn’t find any. After walking for a few steps, I reached Dilli Haat gate and finally saw the DLF board which confirmed that I was at the right place. I saw people busy shopping and eating, it was the usual Dilli Haat vibes. I was looking for any sign so that I could know where were the events being held or if I could find any book stalls so that I can go ahead with my ritual of buying a book from a literature fest. But my hard luck as I couldn’t find either. Finally after walking past all the regular Dilli Haat shops for good 5 minutes, I saw a stage set with a DLF backdrop. I was at the event, Alas! But soon I was gravely discomfited by seeing only 15 people sitting in the audience and the event that was to happen at that time got cancelled last moment and thus it was all blank and empty. In the name of books, there was only an Oxford bookstore stall. All in all, I found it to be a dull event and for the first time a literature festival was not lit.